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Assessing coastal benthic macrofauna community condition using best professional judgement – Developing consensus across North America and Europe
Teixeira, H.; Borja, A.; Weisberg, S.B.; Ranasinghe, J.A.; Cadien, D.B.; Dauer, D.M.; Dauvin, J.-C.; Degraer, S.; Diaz, R.J.; Grémare, A.; Karakassis, I.; Llansó, R.J.; Lovell, L.L.; Marques, J.C.; Montagne, D.E.; Occhipinti-Ambrogi, A.; Rosenberg, R.; Sardá, R.; Schaffner, L.C.; Velarde, R.G. (2010). Assessing coastal benthic macrofauna community condition using best professional judgement – Developing consensus across North America and Europe. Mar. Pollut. Bull. 60(4): 589-600. dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.marpolbul.2009.11.005
In: Marine Pollution Bulletin. Macmillan: London. ISSN 0025-326X; e-ISSN 1879-3363, more
Peer reviewed article  

Available in  Authors 
    VLIZ: Open Repository 212371 [ OMA ]

Keywords
    Aquatic communities > Benthos
    Disturbance (ecosystem)
    Geography
    Habitat
    Scaling
    Europe Coasts [Marine Regions]; USA Coasts
Author keywords
    Best professional judgment; Coastal benthic macrofauna; Anthropogenic disturbance; Quality assessment; North America; Europe

Authors  Top 
  • Teixeira, H.
  • Borja, A., more
  • Weisberg, S.B.
  • Ranasinghe, J.A.
  • Cadien, D.B.
  • Dauer, D.M.
  • Dauvin, J.-C., more
  • Degraer, S., more
  • Diaz, R.J.
  • Grémare, A., more
  • Karakassis, I., more
  • Llansó, R.J.
  • Lovell, L.L.
  • Marques, J.C.
  • Montagne, D.E.
  • Occhipinti-Ambrogi, A.
  • Rosenberg, R., more
  • Sardá, R., more
  • Schaffner, L.C.
  • Velarde, R.G.

Abstract
    Benthic indices are typically developed independently by habitat, making their incorporation into large geographic scale assessments potentially problematic because of scaling inequities. A potential solution is to establish common scaling using expert best professional judgment (BPJ). To test if experts from different geographies agree on condition assessment, sixteen experts from four regions in USA and Europe were provided species-abundance data for twelve sites per region. They ranked samples from best to worst condition and classified samples into four condition (quality) categories. Site rankings were highly correlated among experts, regardless of whether they were assessing samples from their home region. There was also good agreement on condition category, though agreement was better for samples at extremes of the disturbance gradient. The absence of regional bias suggests that expert judgment is a viable means for establishing a uniform scale to calibrate indices consistently across geographic regions.

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